The media attention to the question of whether Republicans and Democrats can agree on some medium-term budget fix is drowning out the more important development, which is that some Republicans are finally questioning their party's anti-tax dogma. As I've written, most recently for Democracy, the Republican Party's embrace of debt-financed regressive tax cuts as its central policy goal is the most important development in the last three decades of American politics. It's therefore very important that some Republicans are now, tentatively and mostly in private, questioning party orthodoxy:
Two decades after President George H.W. Bush abandoned his "read my lips" promise, some Republicans are chafing at their party's stand against new taxes.
A few prominent GOP lawmakers believe they will have to raise some tax revenue if they are to bring Democrats along on a bipartisan compromise to address the U.S.'s long-term fiscal problems. Many Democrats want higher taxes to cover at least part of future budget gaps.
One thing I find interesting is that significant chunks of the GOP base are contemplating an abandonment of the party's central precept, yet there's hardly any discussion of this development in the conservative media. You have Grover Norquist firing shots across the bows of wavering Senators, but for the most part, a potentially epochal shift is going on with little public debate on the right.